About the Film

This piece started out as an adaptation of a very short story by Fernando Sorrentino called  “There Is A Man in the Habit of Hitting Me Over the Head with an Umbrella”.

I felt like the umbrella thwacking could be metaphorical for so many situations but realized that I had to make a decision to ground the character to warrant her emotional state.

My creative background is influenced  by a literary idea defined as the “New Narrativity” which most simply can be described as a hybrid of poetry and what we think of when we think of fiction.

I was especially interested in taking on a methodology that the writer Kathy Acker tackled in her works by ‘writing her own narrative’ into great works like Great Expectations which seemed like the best way to approach this particular material. I decided that if this woman was trying to articulate her abortion experience to a psychiatrist it would be a way to leave the text as is but also ground the character to be accessible to an audience.

The scenes in the office are the story verbatim and left me only to write a few scenes, ie: the club scene & the police officer scene (which does appear in the story) but was re-worked to fit the constructs of the scene. This felt necessary to let the audience get closer to this character’s experience. It becomes closer to walking the thrushes of her emotional landscape and allows her to surpass the Sorrentino text.

It became sort of interesting during the production process because for the sake of grounding, first the actors and then the crew, I had to articulate a clear intention to make their purpose easier so just telling them this was what the film was about seemed to work.

But in the edit, working with the material we had shot, I decided that the idea of meaning could be abstracted as long as I stayed true to cutting to the woman’s emotional landscape within in the situation.

With this project, I was interested in walking down the line between narrative and complete abstraction to make something deeply personal and hugely universal all at the same time.

For me, the experimental filmmakers that I have responded to most directly have been filmmakers like Stan Brakhage, Rudy Burkhardt and Nathanial Dorsky who for me create worlds of  pure phenomena & the challenge I wanted to take on was this idea that an idea of a narrative could be articulated while also using more experimental tropes to articulate the emotional moments with exactly these types of phenomena.

The intention of the piece is  not to give a definitive answer or give a resolution to the topic. It is an issue far too complex to sum up in a 9 minute film. If anything, I simply wanted to make  a piece to instigate a new dialogue about a human experience that many  shirk away from.

By choosing to abstract the subject, I was hoping to avoid the traditional liberal vs. conservative debate that happens when people talk about abortion. In deciding to inject this subject matter as a subtext to the Sorrentino story, I was questioning a few things that do not seem to be talked about when abortion is talked about. Primarily, the level of discomfort that some feminist women have towards other women that have abortions and whether or not that comes from the controversial aura that surrounds the subject. I wanted to take on the subject from a purely emotional perspective to bridge that and also invite men as well as women into understanding what this experience can be like for some women.

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One Response to “About the Film”

  1. 1 Alastair

    Ah, I love your approach to this. Please let me know when it is done. If you can send a file, I’d be thrilled. If you post it, please send me a link.

    Consilience.


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